Though I find all the news anchors and meteorologists in Maine to be likable and professional, I must admit my growing concern over the trend for almost all of them to unrelentingly condemn rain. No matter what time of year or circumstance, they are always bemoaning any chance of rain, or even a few hours of showers. What’s more, even when we were experiencing a 30-year drought a few years back, I had to forgo watching local news for weeks because the news anchors and meteorologists would often repeatedly lament the possibility of rain approaching Maine and providing much-needed relief to farmers, the freshwater fishing industry and hundreds of thousands of rural homeowners who rely on dug or drilled wells.

A frog emerges from a vernal pool beneath a canopy of trees in Farmingdale in 2006. A vernal pool forms in a depression filled with rain and melting snow each spring before drying up in the summer. The temporary wetland furnishes a safe habitat for amphibians, such as frogs and salamanders, to breed. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal, File

Consider, then, how so many Mainers see this inability to celebrate rain as evincing just how out of touch our television news stations are with the rural parts of the state and with certain professions that rely on rain. Additionally, and more importantly, this constant anti-rain campaign betrays how Maine’s news outlets are also quite out of touch with the natural world and the current climate crisis. In short, when it’s 90 degrees and bone dry in April and this heat so early in the season clearly evinces global warming, these stations should not be celebrating such weather. (Study frogs and vernal pools for starters; I beg you to let the “peepers” speak.)

Indeed, a professional news station should take those moments of unseasonal temperatures and dry conditions to remind viewers of the terrible climate crisis we are in. Meteorologists should be hoping, on air, for rain or doing little dances to induce precipitation from the dry skies so the squash and carrots can fatten alongside the streams whose cold-water species like brook trout are dying out in Maine because of global warming. Instead, again and again our news stations have a record of applauding every sign of global warming and bemoaning natural cycles of cool temperatures and rain that evince a healthy ecosystem. In short, it seems irresponsible, ungrateful and certainly not what good, ethical reporting requires.

I would humbly ask, then, that all Maine news stations hold sensitivity training sessions on rain where their employees consider how this constant bemoaning of rain is impervious to the Maine ecosystem and to hundreds of thousands of Mainers from different professions and socioeconomic backgrounds who rely on regular cycles of rain for wells, gardens, farms and healthy logging forests, or to provide guiding services for fishermen or whitewater rafters, et al.

Encourage your personnel to smile and wax poetic when rain is in the forecast. Educate them about how the beauty of Maine would pretty much all be eliminated if it weren’t for the blessing of the 40 to 46 inches of precipitation we receive each year. Have them speak of the relationship between Maine’s GDP and healthy amounts of rain. Incentivize them to applaud weather that keeps our ecosystem healthy and to pooh-pooh weather that evinces how global warming has Earth by the throat. Do not have them apologize for rain! Do not encourage them (for ratings?) to begrudgingly say, “Well, I guess we need the rain” and then give viewers another mopey face until the sun returns on Tuesday.

Rather, have your news crews read Pablo Neruda’s “Ode to the Storm” (which is really an ode to rain), or peruse Henry David Thoreau’s journals, where he waxes poetic on showers and downpours. Let the rain sensitivity training workshop allow each one of your employees to meditate to the sound of rain and to visualize all the rain inside each human body. Give them an opportunity to realize how each of them would not be alive if it weren’t for the rain. Let rain be seen for the gift it is to each pine tree, potato field, flower garden and Atlantic salmon waiting for waters to rise to swim upriver. Let rain no longer be a four-letter word! Praise the rain! Yes, let it rain. Let it rain. Let it rain.

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